Easier norms for SEZs and units

Written by fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 13 2013, 05:36am hrs
In a move to promote investments in special economic zones (SEZs), the department of commerce on Monday notified amendments to the SEZ rules and relaxed the norms for setting up units in these zones, reports fe Bureau in

New Delhi. As per the amendments, multi-services special economic zones will be treated on par with single-product SEZs, with the minimum area being slashed to half from

100 hectare.

This will allow multi-product SEZ developers with a minimum land requirement of 500 hectare to set up multi-services SEZ on an additional 50 hectare of land.

Addition of land to an existing SEZ which contains port or a manufacturing unit will not be eligible for any duty benefits but any addition to these structures after their inclusion in an SEZ will be eligible for fiscal benefits.

The exit route has also been simplified with the rules allowing the unit to exit the SEZ by transferring its assets and liabilities to another by transfer of ownership or sale of the SEZ. A multi-product SEZ must have a contiguous area of 500 hectares instead of the 1,000 mandated earlier, while that for a specific sector or for one or more services or in a port or airport, shall have a contiguous area of 50 hectares or more. Significantly, no minimum area is required for setting up an IT or ITES SEZ but a minimum built-up processing area is mandated based on the category of cities.

For electronic hardware and software, handicrafts, biotechnology and non-conventional energy, the built-up processing area required is 10 hectares.

In an SEZ having area less than 500 hectares, free trade and warehousing zone may be permitted with no minimum area requirement but subject to the condition that the maximum area of these activities does not exceed 20% of the processing area.

Provided that in case a special economic zone is proposed to be set up in Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Goa or in a Union Territory, the area shall be 100 hectares or more, according to the amendments. This was 200 hectares as per earlier rules.